An often-used estate planning tool is a type of trust known as a “Living Trust.” Once this type of trust is established, clients often ask whether it can be revoked or amended. Unless something is said to the contrary in the trust instrument itself, the answer is an unequivocal “yes” so long as the person setting up the trust is alive and competent.

In fact, many estate planners call the “Living Trust” by the name “Revocable Trust” and sometimes even “Revocable Living Trust.” These instruments are all the same, just different names.

Whatever it is called, one of the attractive aspects of a Living Trust is the fact that it can be modified, amended or even revoked. This allows the person setting up the Living Trust, called the Settlor or Grantor, to change any aspect of the trust, including designations of the beneficiaries and of the Trustee. Because circumstances and relationships change over time, the ability to change one’s trust is often pivotal. If the Settlor were not able to make amendments or to revoke, they might never establish the trust–thereby causing more probate cases needing to be filed.

If you are contemplating setting up a Living Trust, you should seek the advice of an experienced estate planning attorney.